Series: Savage, #1
Author: Tamara Rose Blodgett
Pages: 272 (Kindle edition)
Publisher: Tamara Rose Blodgett
Release Date: June 14, 2011
Seventeen-year old princess, Clara Williamson, lives an old-fashioned existence in a biosphere of the future.
When her sadistic mother, Queen Ada, betroths her to an abusive prince of a neighboring sphere, Clara determines to escape Outside, where savages roam free.
Clara escapes tyranny only to discover the savages are not the only people who survived the cataclysmic events of one hundred forty years prior.
Once Outside, Clara finds herself trapped, unable to return to the abusive life of the sphere while facing certain danger Outside.
Can Clara find love and freedom with the peril that threatens to consume her?
The abundance of dome living within Dystopian novels is making me nervous. It really seems like a possibility. In The Pearl Savage something happens in 1890 that makes the Earth rather inhabitable. The young, healthy people were selected to live within the spheres, while the old and sick were left outside. 140 years later, time inside the spheres is frozen. The people still speak like they're in 1890, retained the mannerisms, as well as the fashion, but outside it's much different, much more savage. Clara, a princess in the sphere, dreams of exploring her wild surrounds, but of course that's not allowed.
I immediately felt terrible for Clara! She's such a nice, considerate, and helpful person. She cares about the people of her Kingdom and even works among them to do her part despite being royalty and against her mother's wishes. Her mother is a drunk, as well as physically and emotionally abusive. She even sells Clara's hand in marriage to get grapes for her precious wine! On top of that, Clara's betrothed, Frederic, is a total pig! He treats her like property and is also abusive! No wonder Clara wants out of the domes! The savages also want Clara out of the dome for their own reasons.
I really loved the contrast between life inside and outside. Outside women are few in number, so they're heavily protected and revered. This is so much different than how Clara is treated, and it in part motivates her kidnapping by the savages. The outsiders live in clans, governed by presidents and advisers, protected by the Band. While those inside the spheres still have royalty and guards, which involve alliances and trade. The spheres have no true weather and are often humid due to the steampower, while the outsiders get to enjoy direct sunlight and wind and rain. It was also interesting how both groups viewed their 1890 ancestors so differently. The outsiders view them as the "Evil Ones" who have condemned them to this harsh lifestyle, and the insiders see them as the "Guardians" who saved their lives.
We get to see all of these differences and more in detail thanks to the multiple POVs, and the fact that our main character spends time in and out of the protective spheres. It was also very interesting, and exciting, when the two groups collided Outside. There was a bit of a standoff between a group of guards from the spheres and the Band, and I had no idea how that was going to to turn out. There were some twist of events that I most definitely did not see coming. It'll be interesting to see the consequences of this collision.
The Pearl Savage has action, drama, romance, and corsets. It basically has a little bit of everything, but enough of what's important to make this an interesting and engaging read. I loved the minor supernatural twists near the end, and I can't wait to see how that plays out in the following book. There's also a love-square happening, which has strange dynamics, and I have no clue who Clara will choose!